Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

The insecurity of freelance work

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2018

Date: 17-06-2018
Source: The Economist: Bartleby

Measuring changes in employment is proving difficult

THE decline of the conventional job has been much heralded in recent years. It is now nearly axiomatic that people will work for a range of employers in a variety of roles over their lifetimes, with a much more flexible schedule than in the past. Opinion is still divided over whether this change is a cause for concern or a chance for workers to be liberated from the rut of office life.

Is the shift really happening? Some figures from the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), released on June 7th, showed that only 10.1% of American workers were in “alternative employment” last year, a lower proportion than the 10.7% recorded in 2005. In contrast, a study of the British economy by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that the self-employed sector has been growing, with the number of self-employed sole traders rising by 25% between 2007-08 and 2015-16.

These two measures are different. But getting a good statistical fix is not easy when the jobs are hard to define. The ecology of the alternative-employment market has many species. At the top end are independent consultants with six-figure salaries and tax advantages from their self-employed status; at the bottom are cleaners on the minimum wage working for an agency. Some people will be on “zero hours” contracts where they are unsure of their income from week to week. Then there are jobs in the “gig economy”—people connected to work via websites, such as freelancers labelling photos to help artificial-intelligence programs. Plenty of people use the gig economy to top up income, rather than relying on it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Advertisements

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

An outrageous penalty

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2018

Date: 16-06-2018
Source: The Economist

As the World Cup begins
, Russia should free Oleg Sentsov

A film-maker locked up for protesting against the annexation of Crimea is on hunger strike

AS YOU settle down to watch the World Cup in Russia, remember Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director serving a 20-year sentence in a prison camp in Siberia. He has committed no crime. Rather, he was jailed for protesting against Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war Russia’s president unleashed in eastern Ukraine four years ago. On May 14th Mr Sentsov started a hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails. The opening of the World Cup on June 14th was Mr Sentsov’s 32nd day without food. He is rapidly acquiring the moral stature once accorded to people like Anatoly Marchenko, a Soviet dissident who was on hunger strike for 117 days and died soon after he ended it in December 1986.

World leaders supported Mr Sentsov, though they could clearly do more. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, raised the case with Mr Putin. PEN America, a writers’ organisation, and dozens of artists in Russia and in the West have called for his release. One Western leader who has not done so is President Donald Trump. Instead, last week he called for Russia to return to the G7. It was expelled for the seizure of Crimea, which, in his words, “happened a while ago”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , | Leave a Comment »

Can refugees help to plug Europe’s skilled-labour gaps?

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

Employing migrants in Germany and Sweden

THE canteen of Stockholm University could scarcely be more Swedish. Young blond students sip coffee and tap away on Macs. In room 3.89, an outpost of the campus, is another, newer Sweden. Refugees, all of them teachers, from lands far to the south and east are preparing for the classrooms of their new home. Several keep their coats on as Khadije Obeid takes them through the basics of the curriculum and shows a YouTube clip about education law. “In Syria the teacher has much authority,” says Samer, an English teacher, as he raises his hand above his head. “Here he is equal to the students,” he adds as he lowers it.

The ten women and seven men are on a “fast-track” programme for refugees with experience in occupations where labour is short. As well as learning Swedish, they get 26 weeks of daily classes, teaching practice and mentoring. The hope is that they will then train or, if their previous qualifications are recognised, go straight to the classroom. The government is running some 30 other programmes, for builders, chefs, medics and more; 5,300 people were enrolled in 2016 and 2017, of whom around 1,000 were in the teachers’ scheme. Within two years most fast-trackers are employed. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Europe struggles to respond to Mr Trump

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

To uphold its cherished rules, Europe must learn when to bend them

YOU can’t fault them for trying. Discussing trade at last week’s disastrous G7 summit in Quebec, Europe’s leaders met Donald Trump’s volley of insults and half-truths with a fusillade of facts. Emmanuel Macron explained how market access works. Angela Merkel brought up America’s procurement rules. Thrown off-guard, Mr Trump responded by suggesting that the G7 should transform itself into a tariff- and subsidy-free zone. The fact that this would involve submitting to the rules and institutions he has built his political identity opposing was not lost on the president’s European friends. A better illustration of the transatlantic gulf would be hard to find.

The past few months have been especially rough for Europe’s relations with America, as Mr Trump first withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and then slapped tariffs on aluminium and steel imports. But the confrontation in Canada had a scales-from-the-eyes feeling to it. The United States is “saying goodbye” to the West, lamented Germany’s ambassador. One European official says his colleagues returned from the summit looking as if they had stuck their hands in a toaster. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

After decades of triumph, democracy is losing ground

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

What is behind the reversal?

IN A glass case at the Diyarbakir Bar Association are a striped shirt, dark coat and coiled belt. They belonged to the former chairman, Tahir Elci, a lawyer who was murdered in 2015 amid clashes between the Turkish army and Kurdish separatists. He was standing by the Four-Legged Minaret, a 500-year-old landmark in the ancient city, calling for peace. Someone shot him in the head. No one knows who killed him. The government blames Kurdish terrorists. Many Kurds blame the government. After Elci’s death, the army pounded the rebel-held part of Diyarbakir to rubble. The debris, including body parts, was heaped onto trucks and dumped by a river. Locals are scared to talk about any of this.

Barely a decade ago, Turkey was a budding democracy and aspired to join the European Union. Now it is galloping towards dictatorship. In 2016 army officers tried to mount a coup, putting tanks in the streets, bombing parliament and nearly assassinating the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was quickly scotched. Mr Erdogan launched a purge. Over 200,000 people, mostly suspected members of the Gulen movement—the Islamist sect said to have led the failed putsch—were jailed or sacked. Anyone could be arrested for having attended a Gulenist school, holding an account at a Gulen-owned bank, or even possessing $1 bills, which the government says were a mark of Gulenism.

Millions of Turks are now terrified of their president. However, plenty admire him for protecting them from the Gulenists. Adem, an estate agent in Istanbul, congratulates Mr Erdogan for “cleaning away the enemies within”—echoing a government slogan. He says, of the purge’s victims: “They’ve been arrested because they’ve done something wrong.” He adds: “In America if you steal state secrets they put you in the electric chair, don’t they?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

Dealing with North Korea, Trump puts showmanship first

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

The summit was a triumph of showbiz over substance—and Mr Trump made big concessions for no return

AS A television spectacle, it was irresistible. The star of “The Apprentice” striding commandingly along the red carpet, reaching out his hand, ready to strike the deal of a lifetime. And grasping it, Kim Jong Un, the leader of the world’s most repressive dictatorship, his Mao suit, hairstyle and grievances imported directly from the 1950s, who just nine months before had promised to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”. In the end, fire did not prove necessary: a suspension of weapons-testing and an invitation to a summit was all it took. President Donald Trump said it was an “honour” to meet Mr Kim, who duly promised “complete denuclearisation” in exchange for security guarantees. It was, Mr Trump said at a press conference, “a very great moment in the history of the world”.

To the extent history is playing any part in all this, it is in its tendency to repeat itself. North Korea has promised disarmament again and again over the past 30 years, only to renege each time after pocketing generous inducements. If the flimsy agreement Messrs Trump and Kim signed in Singapore is to turn out differently, as Mr Trump insists it will, America must be clear-eyed and exacting in the detailed nuclear regime that it negotiates with the North. Alas, so far Mr Trump seems more eager to play the talks for ratings—threatening not only a meaningful deal, but also America’s position in Asia.

Singapore canoodles Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

Making the best of a bum deal: Britain is heading for a soft Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 14. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

The logic of the Irish border is forcing Britain towards a close relationship with the EU

WHEN Britons voted to leave the European Union two years ago, they had no chance to say what sort of Brexit they wanted. But Theresa May, who became prime minister in the aftermath of the referendum, quickly decided that they wanted the most drastic break possible. Without consulting her cabinet, let alone Parliament, she announced “red lines” for her negotiation with Brussels that put Britain on course for the fullest of separations.

This “hard” Brexit—in which Britain would free itself from the clutches of European judges, trade policy and migration rules, at significant cost to its economy and security—has long looked inevitable. Parliament’s resistance to Mrs May’s extreme plan has been timid and the Labour opposition feeble. Yet this week the tide turned. Rebel Tory MPs look likely to wrest control of Brexit’s endgame from the government. Meanwhile, the penny dropped among Brexiteers that the Irish border presents a near-insurmountable roadblock to a hard exit. With less than six months of negotiating time left, it is becoming clear that Brexit will be softer than Mrs May set out. That is good news for Europe and for Britain. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , | Leave a Comment »

Ignore your instincts: A case for owning euro-zone shares

Posted by hkarner - 11. Juni 2018

Date: 07-06-2018
Source: The Economist: Buttonwood

The contrarian wisdom of George Costanza

IN AN episode of “Seinfeld”, a 1990s television comedy, George Costanza, a serial failure played by Jason Alexander, decides that every instinct he has is wrong. So he resolves to do the opposite. He is soon squiring a new girlfriend and is up for a dream job. “It’s all happening because I’m completely ignoring every urge towards common sense and good judgment I’ve ever had,” he says.

Success in investing often means going against the grain—and your own feelings. To do otherwise is to be swept along by the general greed and fear. Still, fear is a useful emotion. It would be unwise, for instance, to ignore the recent turmoil in Italy, where bond yields spiked in response to concerns that the country might be on the road to leaving the euro. Though the worst fears have subsided, the coalition that was eventually given the president’s blessing to form a government looks capable of causing trouble. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

American firms will be hit hard by retaliatory tariffs

Posted by hkarner - 11. Juni 2018

Date: 09-06-2018
Source: The Economist

America’s trade partners fight back

“LOOK at all these bikers…we love the bikers!” declared the pre-presidential Donald Trump, surveying a crowd of motorcycle-owners gathered by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, in 2016. Riders of Harley-Davidsons, in particular, have been among Mr Trump’s noisiest supporters since the early days of his campaign. Riders of “hogs” often see themselves as rowdy rebels. Perhaps this is why many have identified with Mr Trump’s disdain for conventional politics.

Alas, the love affair may be heading for trouble. Mr Trump’s trade policies have put Harley-Davidson in a double bind. The company uses a lot of steel and aluminium to make its bikes. Although much of that is domestically sourced, Mr Trump’s tariffs on imports have led to higher prices for locally made metals, too, thus raising costs. And the European Union is poised to impose retaliatory tariffs on a variety of American exports, including motorcycles and whiskey. Harley-Davidson had bet on a continued boom in European sales, which make up about 16% of its total. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

Images aren’t everything: AI, radiology and the future of work

Posted by hkarner - 9. Juni 2018

Date: 07-06-2018
Source: The Economist

Clever machines will make workers more productive more often than they will replace them

RADIOLOGISTS, say the pessimists, will be first against the wall when the machines take over. Analysing medical images is a natural fit for “deep learning”, an artificial-intelligence (AI) technique which first attracted attention for its ability to teach computers to recognise objects in pictures. A variety of companies hope that bringing AI into the clinic will make diagnosis faster and cheaper. The machines may even be able to see nuances that humans cannot, assessing how risky a patient’s cancer is simply by looking at a scan.

Some AI researchers think that human beings can be dispensed with entirely. “It’s quite obvious that we should stop training radiologists,” said Geoffrey Hinton, an AI luminary, in 2016. In November Andrew Ng, another superstar researcher, when discussing AI’s ability to diagnose pneumonia from chest X-rays, wondered whether “radiologists should be worried about their jobs”. Given how widely applicable machine learning seems to be, such pronouncements are bound to alarm white-collar workers, from engineers to lawyers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »